#1. Boston Celtics vs. #8. Milwaukee Bucks
The Bucks are still a young team on the rise, but no match for the Celtics in any area of the game. Rondo can run the floor like no other and with the Celtics array of big men, the Bucks have no answer.
Prediction: Celtics win the series 4-1
#2. Miami Heat vs. #7. New York Knicks
The Heat may not be as strong as everyone predicted, but the Knicks are no match even with great coaching and a chemistry that got them into the playoffs. At least New York will sell out a couple of playoff games in the Garden.
Prediction: Heat win the series 4-0
#3. Orlando Magic vs. #6. Indiana Pacers
The Pacers give the Magic all they can handle, but Dwight Howard is too much down low for Hibbert to handle. This team is a year away from putting together a contender.
Prediction: Magic win the series 4-3
#4. Chicago Bulls vs. #5. Atlanta Hawks
A great first round series that ends with the Hawks moving up in a 7 game battle. The Bulls just don’t have the overall team to move on in the playoffs even with stars like Boozer, Rose, and Noah. Joe Johnson needs to stay healthy after battling early injuries, but the Hawks should be fine.
Prediction: Hawks win the series 4-3
#1. Boston Celtics vs. #5. Atlanta Hawks
Hawks are younger overall than the Celtics, but the Celtics are too strong down low and have the experience needed to advance.
Prediction: Celtics win the series 4-1
#2. Miami Heat vs. #3. Orlando Magic
The Orlando Magic will continue to move on even against the star-studded Miami Heat. Impact players around the ball will give the Magic the upper hand. As long as the Magic can keep the injury bug away, I’m picking them to move past the Heat and into the Eastern Conference Finals.
Prediction: Orlando Magic win the series 4-2
Eastern Conference Championship
#1. Boston Celtics vs. #3. Orlando Magic
The two teams with the best big men in the Eastern Conference end up meeting for the right to play in the NBA Finals. Both teams have very strong benches, great big men, and solid point guards. You can flip a coin on this series, but I will pick overall experience and past results over the Magic.
Prediction: Boston Celtics win the series 4-3
#1. LA Lakers vs. #8. New Orleans Hornets
No real challenge here for the Lakers, they advance with ease.
Prediction: LA Lakers win the series 4-1
#2. San Antonio Spurs vs. #7. Portland Trail Blazers
The Spurs have the best chance to dethrone the Lakers as the #1 seed in the Western Conference, but either way they shouldn’t have many issues with either team they would face. The Trail Blazers can play with the Spurs, but I am not sold on Wesley Mathews playing the 3 for the Blazers and I like San Antonio’s bench better.
Prediction: San Antonio Spurs win the series 4-2
#3. Dallas Mavericks vs. #6. Denver Nuggets
Not a big fan of the Nuggets lineup or bench outside of Carmelo and Billups, Mavericks can score 100+ on anyone. The party ends in Denver and Carmelo leaves for other opportunities, along with Billups.
Prediction: Dallas Mavericks win the series 4-0
#4. Utah Jazz vs. #5. Oklahoma City Thunder
Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook lead the Thunder to a tough fought series victory over the Jazz.
Prediction: Thunder win the series 4-2
#1. LA Lakers vs. #5. Oklahoma City Thunder
The Thunder could have won another series in the playoffs if they didn’t have to face the defending champions in the Lakers. Lakers take the series.
Prediction: LA Lakers win the series 4-2
#2. San Antonio Spurs vs. #3. Dallas Mavericks
Scoring vs. Defense, who wins? The saying is that defense wins championships, but I am going with the Mavericks to break through in a 7 game series.
Prediction: Dallas Mavericks win the series 4-3
Western Conference Championship
#1. LA Lakers vs. #3. Dallas Mavericks
I just don’t see the Lakers losing a series with their current roster and Phil Jackson sitting on the bench. This will be one great series to watch, Lakers advance.
Prediction: LA Lakers win the series 4-3
LA Lakers vs. Boston Celtics
Both #1 seeds advance to the Finals where we once again get to hear non-stop Kobe vs. Shaq coverage and get to see a great battle on the court. The Celtics are the one team I can see dethroning the Lakers, unless the Heat get more production of of their bench. The Celtics have enough depth to hack away at Gasol and to clog up the lanes when Kobe tries to penetrate. It’s as if they designed this team to stop Kobe.
Prediction: Boston Celtics win the NBA Championship 4-2